Imaginary figures of early childhood: santa claus, easter bunny, and the tooth fairy

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1978 Oct;48(4):618-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-0025.1978.tb02566.x.


The developmental progression of children's belief in three major figures of early childhood was examined through structure interviews with children and questionnaires for parents. Belief in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy varied with the child's age and the level of parental encouragement of belief. However, belief in these figures was unrelated to other indices of the child's fantasy involvement.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Imagination*
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Parent-Child Relations